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Take a moment to notice your posture right now. Are you slouching? Is there strain on your neck and back? Many of us forget to think about the state of our posture. For most people, posture can be corrected with some simple reminders and physio treatment. For people with a disability though, poor posture can be detrimental, and in some cases, can lead to tragic circumstances.

This article explores the common postural problems experienced by people with a disability and the need for postural care. For tailored advice and treatment, talk to your physiotherapist.

What are Postural Problems?

People with a disability can sometimes experience distortions to the symmetry of their body. Permanent asymmetry can cause the muscles to shorten, leading to painful and chronic conditions like scoliosis and hip dislocation. This asymmetry can also cause life-threatening problems like difficulty swallowing or breathing. For patients with severe learning disabilities or no ability to communicate, assessing their pain can be challenging. That’s why it’s important to address these conditions in childhood.

These postural problems apply to older people too. After long periods of sitting after a stroke, operation or permanent injury, people may develop postural problems that affect overall health and wellbeing.

Why is Treating and Correcting Postural Problems Crucial?

There is a tragic case about a young man with quadriplegic cerebral palsy developing a severe scoliosis which eventually led to his death. He could not move himself, so gravity forced his muscles and bones to severely twist. His pelvis was tucked underneath his ribs and his lungs were significantly compressed. The complications of this caused his death at the age of 28. Tragically, if he received postural care during childhood, he would not have experienced this severe scoliosis.

What Is Postural Care?

Postural care involves restoring and correcting the shape of the spine and body to ensure the correct anatomical position. Physiotherapists can provide postural care to people with a disability or people with poor posture, helping them to reduce pain and protect their spine.

Postural care typically involves:

  • Advice and education.
  • Movement, strengthening and stretching.
  • Therapeutic positioning throughout the day.
  • Use of equipment to ensure proper position.

Ultimately, prevention is more effective than treatment. A physiotherapy assessment can determine whether you are eligible for postural care. Children with a disability benefit from early postural care during their growth and development.

Postural care has great benefits for people with a disability including improving sleep, reducing pain, and minimising the risk of surgery or chronic posture-related conditions. Postural care treatments should be customised to the patient’s body, routine, movement abilities, age, and existing conditions.

Studies suggest that patients who participate in postural care have higher levels of general wellbeing. It is also important for the patient to be involved in their treatment if possible; people who were actively involved in their treatment were more likely to see better outcomes.

Book a Physiotherapy Appointment for Postural Care

Book your appointment at Northern Districts Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic with one of our friendly and experienced practitioners today.

CALL (02) 9874 8410 OR BOOK ONLINE

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Northern Districts Physiotherapy

Northern Districts Physiotherapy & Sports Clinic was established in 1995 and consists of an energetic team of highly qualified and experienced professionals who take the time to understand ...


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95 Ryedale Road
West Ryde NSW 2114

Ph 02 9874 8410
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